August 18, 2023
“In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash became king and reigned 40 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah, who was from Beer-sheba. Throughout the time...”
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“In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash became king and reigned 40 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah, who was from Beer-sheba. Throughout the time Jehoiada the priest instructed him, Joash did what was right in the Lord’s sight. Yet the high places were not taken away; the people continued sacrificing and burning incense on the high places.” 2 Kings 12:1-3 (HCSB)
There is a story of a British colonel whose battalion was defending a bridge in World War II. Ammunition was nearly gone, casualties were high, and the colonel’s men had been fighting for fifty hours without let-up. During this time, one of the battalion chaplains met the colonel, who was coming out of a toilet.
A smile lit up the colonel’s grimy, stubble-covered face. “Father,” he said, “the window is shattered, there’s a hole in the wall, and the roof’s gone. But it has a chain, and it works.” Amid the blasts and ruin, devastation and death, there was a welcome bit of consistency: The toilet still works!
That is the testimony of verses 1-3 of today’s chapter. Out of the evil of Athaliah’s regime in chapter 11, with royal blood dripping from her hands and tyranny reigning on her throne, there is, nevertheless, a seven-year-old heir of David who begins to reign.
So, what is our practical application of this observation? What seems only statistical, the rote observations of kingly rule: installation, slight reform, compromise, is, in fact, glorious. What appears dull is thrilling. It’s as if the writer says, “The kingdom is divided, and in shambles, people don’t have any money, the Temple is in disrepair, but the covenant still works!
It is of utmost importance that believers grasp all this; otherwise, they become ungrateful for the mundane provision of the Lord. So often, we become ministry “adrenaline junkies,” miracle-hounds looking for the next big move of God. Israel and Judah should have been relieved when the boiling-point drama of royal apostasy simmered down to a step-by-step kingdom.
Surely, we recognize that many of God’s gifts come wrapped in plain brown paper packages. Still, they are gifts of the Lord. Mundane mercies are mercies nonetheless, and simple provisions are still provisions.
“First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (HCSB)
If the Lord has granted us civil order, is that no less a miracle simply because it feels ordinary? Remember: there is nothing petty about God’s simple provision. If you’ve ever gone without it for a season, you will praise the day it returns!